HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Golovkin vs. Wade, Chocolatito vs. Arroyo
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters in the world, Gennady Golovkin and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, will defend their titles at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood California. These bouts will be televised live on HBO.
Both Golovkin and Wade are considered the heir apparent to the throne that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have abdicated since their retirement, and both are deserving of that title.
Big money matchups await both if they are successful on Saturday night. The following is a preview of both of these fights.
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (44-0) vs. McWilliams Arroyo (16-2); WBC Flyweight Title
HBO has recently shown more attention to the lighter weight classes in boxing, and nobody has benefited more from that exposure than Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has some of the best movement in boxing today and has the ability to attack from all angles and finish a fighter when the opportunity presents itself. He has stopped thirty eight of his opponents with a knockout ratio of 86%. That nmber is even more impressive when you consider he’s been a world champion since 2008.
His opponent, McWilliams Arroyo, is a Puerto Rican boxer that has stopped fourteen of his opponents. However, Arroyo has not been as active as Gonzalez and has not faced the level of opposition that Gonzalez has faced. Arroyo is thirty years old and two years older than Gonzalez. He’ll have a slight one inch height advantage.
Gonzalez has been very active as a champion and fought three times in 2015 and four times in 2014. Contrastingly, Arroyo has only fought once in 2015, twice in 2014, and once in 2013.
Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Gonzalez had a record of 88-0 as an amateur and won the flyweight gold medal in the 2004 Central American Championships. Arroyo won the gold medal in the 2009 World Amateur Boxing Championships as a flyweight.
Gonzalez has defeated the likes of Brian Viloria, Edgar Sosa Medina, Akira Yaegashi, Rocky Fuentes, Omar Soto, and most impressively, Juan Francisco Estrada. Arroyo’s losses have come against Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF Flyweight title and Takashi Okada. His notable victories include Victor Ruiz, Foilan Saludar, and Miguel Tamayo.
Even though Arroyo had an impressive amateur background, he will be overmatched in the ring when he faces Gonzalez. Arroyo does have the power to pull off an upset victory, but it appears highly unlikely to happen.
Gennady Golovkin (34-0) vs. Dominic Wade (18-0); WBA/IBF/Interim WBC Middleweight Title
The main event of the evening will be between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Dominic Wade in a middleweight title fight.
Golovkin has been begging for a big money fight ever since HBO started televising his bouts, and it appears Canelo Alvarez could be next for him if he is successful on Saturday.
Golovkin is currently riding an amazing twenty one fight stoppage streak. His last non stoppage victory was way back in 2008. Golovkin possesses power that no current middleweight can match. He has stopped thirty one of his opponents, and has kept an active schedule.
Golovkin has fought three times in 2015 and 2014. His opponent, Dominic Wade, fought four times in 2014 but only one time in 2015.
Golovkin had a very successful amateur career and was a 2004 Silver Medalist in the Olympics and a 2003 Gold Medalist in the Amateur World Championships. Wade does not have the amateur success on the international stage that Golovkin posseses.
However, Wade does have some advantages in the ring. He is eight years younger than the thirty four year old Golovkin and will possess a four and a half inch reach advantage.
Wade, however, has never faced an opponent that is on Golovkin’s level. His biggest wins to date were over Nick Brinson, Sam Soliman, and Marcus Upshaw. His last fight was against Sam Soliman, and it was only a split decision victory.
Golovkin on the other hand has soundly beaten every opponent that dared step in the ring with him, including several top rated opponents. He has defeated the likes of David Lexmieux, Willie Monroe Jr. Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Gabriel Rosado, and Kassim Ouma.
This is one of the rare instances in which an Al Haymon fighter will participate in an HBO televised event. However, this is a case where Wade is a heavy underdog with little chance of victory. Golovkin is getting older and will be past his physical prime soon, so observers will be paying attention to see if he’s showing signs of slowing down, but his impressive knockout streak will likely continue on Saturday.